Song of lament
1The Lord’s word that came to Joel, Pethuel’s son:
2Hear this, elders;
pay attention, everyone in the land!
Has anything like this ever happened in your days,
or in the days of your ancestors?#Or your fathers
3Tell it to your children,
and have your children tell their children,
and their children tell their children.
4What the cutting locust left,
the swarming locust has eaten.
What the swarming locust left,
the hopping locust has eaten.
And what the hopping locust left,
the devouring locust has eaten.#The Heb uses several different words for locust; none of the meanings are identical.
5Wake up, you who drink too much, and weep.
Scream over the sweet wine,
all you wine drinkers,
because it is snatched from your mouth;
6because a nation, powerful and beyond number,
has invaded my land.
Its teeth are like lions’ teeth;
its fangs are like those of a lioness.
7It has destroyed my vines,
splintered my fig trees,
stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
their branches have turned white.
8Lament like a woman dressed in funeral clothing,
one who has lost the husband of her youth.
9The grain offering and the drink offering are gone from the Lord’s temple.
The priests and the Lord’s ministers mourn.
10The fields are devastated,
the ground mourns;
for the grain is destroyed,
the new wine dries up,
the olive oil fails.
11Be shocked, you farmers;
howl, you vinedressers,
over the wheat and the barley,
for the crops of the field are destroyed.
12The grapevine is dried up;
the fig tree withers.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple—
all the trees of the field are dried up.
Joy fades away from the people.#Or from the sons of men; cf 2:1 Heb the people of the land
Call to mourn
13Dress for a funeral and grieve, you priests;
lament, ministers of the altar.
Come, spend the night in funeral clothing, servants of my God,
because the grain offering and the drink offering
have gone from the temple of your God.
14Demand a fast,
request a special assembly.
Gather the elders
and all the land’s people
to the temple of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord.
Time of suffering
15What a terrible day!
The day of the Lord is near;
it comes like chaos from the Almighty.#Heb Shaddai
16Isn’t the food cut off
right before our eyes?
Aren’t joy and gladness also gone from our God’s house?
17The grain shrivels under the shovels;#Heb uncertain
the barns are empty.
The granaries are in ruin
because the grain has dried up.
18How the animals groan!
Herds of cattle are in distress
because there is no pasture for them;
even the flocks of sheep pant.
The prophet’s prayer
19To you, Lord, I cry,
for fire has completely destroyed
the pastures of the wilderness;
and flames have burned
all the trees of the field.
20Even the field’s wild animals cry to you
because the streams have dried up;
the fire has completely destroyed
the meadows of the wilderness.